Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom Trees

I'm sure you all know the book "Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. I love his books! This is an activity that is done all of the time, but that's just because it's so great! Whatever activity you can link to a book is one of learning and the child will get more out of it.
I just had these extra letter tiles from when I taught the Saxon program in kindergarten. So I let the children glue them on and go to town. You could use any sort of letters, printed out, written, cut out, whatever you have on hand works great. This is a great activity for letter recogntion. I would ask the kids what letters they had on their tree and if it was ready to tip over yet? At the end of the day we read/sang the book together with our own Coconut trees!

ABC Week

In the messy table today I had all of these different magnetic letters to explore with for the kids. Cookie sheets and magnetic chalk boards work great. I saw so many great things going on. I love the stage of reading and writing where the child links together a whole bunch of letters and then asks, "Teacher, what did I write?" This type of thing happened all day. We all get a big kick out of it because the words are so silly. For example......"trhugnf". I always say something like, "What did you write? trhugnf? You silly, what does that mean?" Sometimes they like to think of their own meanings for these silly words.
Some kids are at the stage of sounding out phonetically. When it comes to phonetic spelling I'm a big believer on letting them sound out on their own and figure out what letter it is. I don't care if it is spelled correctly, but just to see them figuring it out and getting the letter sounds is AWESOME!! Eventually, when they are more developmentally ready, they will be ready for all of the crazy rules. But right now, they need the confidence with those basic letter sounds.
One child sounded out, "pulees reer reer". Which translates into "Police - reer, reer" (making the siren noise). Wow - I LOVE to watch learning in action!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic Flags

Now I realize these are cheezy and simple, but the kids absolutley LOVED these little flags. Some kids made the American flag, and others wanted the Olympic rings. We've been talking about the rings and how when Olympics first started there were five countries, and each ring represents a different country. They are linked to represent the countries coming together.
These flags were used in the classroom to cheer on our awesome Bobsled team (we had great cheerleaders). But then I also gave them homework to go home and watch the Olympics and share with us the next day what we watched. My daughter could not watch the Olympics without her flag......she thought for some reason she NEEDED it to cheer. Great spirit - right!
Happy cheering

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bobsledding - Olympic Style

We have been learning about the Olympics this week and boy have we been having fun. In this picture you can see The Preschool Bobsled Team.....pushing off! We transformed our dramatic play area into an Olympic Bobsled Run.
We have talked about all of the different Olympic Events in the winter - Skiing, Snowboarding, Ice skating, Speed Skating, Bobsled, Luge, and the skeleton were the main one we discussed. I had the class act out each event to see maybe a little how it might feel and if we might like it.
Olympics are great!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If I were the President of the United States........

Since yesterday was Presidents day, I figured I would take the opportunity to enjoy a day of learning more about this special day. Along with books about the White House, what the President does and more, the children also had a great time thinking of things they might like to do if THEY were President of the United States......
Some other kids wrote things like......."I would write stories all day", "I would plant all the flowers I could".
I love how kids think!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentines "Chocolate" Playdough

During our Valentines theme, I always love to make "chocolate" playdough!! Since chocolate is such a big part of the holiday, the children really seem to go with this and love playing with it.
It's easy to make....just follow your regular playdoug recipe and add some cocoa powder to the mix! It turns brown and smells like chocolate all in one. Just remember to remind the little ones, that it's not REALLY chocolate. Along with a variety of baking items, I also set out a few empty boxes of chocolates so that the kids can pretend to give valentines to their friends and make their own chocolates to put in. It's always so fun to see them handing out "chocolates" and to hear the socialization that goes on during this Valentines time!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love According to Preschoolers.....

LOVE IS.....
  • when I get hugs
  • my mommy and daddy
  • my Wii and my Wii games
  • when my parents play with me
  • helping my sister
  • when I clean my bedroom
  • when my sister stops fighting with me
  • bandaides and medicine for my owies
  • when my parents build my toys with me
  • when I do stuff without being told
  • loving your mom and your family
  • when your friend is your best friend
  • loving everybody even when they are your enemies
  • reading books
  • giving people things they really want
  • hugs and kisses
  • cooking with my mom and dad (especially eggs)
  • drawing
  • being with my friends

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Valentines Slime

We enjoy getting MESSY in preschool! This slime always seems to be a favorite and really brings the kids together playing and exploring. I figure it's a great way to build our friendships stronger and have fun with eachother. We also talk about opposites...to me slime is an opposite word for Valentines day because slime is yucky and gross and love and friends are fun and enjoyable! To make this stuff, just mix as much elmers glue as you are going to want slime and add your food coloring. Poor in some liquid starch until it's not sticky but slimy and stir it all together. FYI - I buy the gallons of elmers glue. You can get it from Lowes or Home Depot or I'm sure order it from a school catalog.

Valentine I love you's

There are plenty of ways to say "I Love You"......this week we are having a blast talking about all the ways we can say I love you and also how to be a friend! Today we made thise fun and simple hearts. The children were talking about who they were going to give them to, when, and even why. I have some students who just LOVE to cut and glue and others who would rather color or draw. So we had a few different variety of hearts today which is the way I like it! I love to watch a child make something his own and go with it.
With this craft we used construction paper, glue, scissors, and squares of tissue paper or crepe paper. It's fun to just pour the glue on everywhere and begin sticking the squares on. You can crumple them or stick them on straight!
Happy Valentinezing!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Meet Rude Rodney

This week we are learning all about Nutrition, Manners, and Exercise. I have a friend that always visits us during our friendship or manners units (usually around Valentines day). His name is Rude Rodney and he has NO IDEA how to use manners. The kids always find him hilarious because, well, he's RUDE! It's a great teachable time when the kids become the teachers and they think it's great that they are "smarter" than him. Also, kids just LOVE puppets!!
Each day I have Rodney come out of a different container - first he comes out of an empty tissue box (or something similar that he'll fit in) and he sneezes and coughes all over the kids (It's fun to have a spray bottle to make it more realistic). We sing this song and the children TEACH him the correct way to sneeze and cough (in your elbow or tissue). I bring him out of a gift box on another day and we talk about saying "please" and "thank you". Another day he keeps interrupting the teacher while I'm reading a story - the kids really crack up and they really start to figure out how important it is to say excuse me and raise our hands in class. He also comes driving in on a big truck and we talk about sharing our toys.
The most important idea of this whole thing is to EXAGGERATE his rudeness and make it your own. It is such a fun thing to teach and enjoy with the kids!!
Happy Manner Making!

But I HATE Broccoli!

Since we are learning about Nutrition and manners and exercise this week, I thought I would post some tips!! Thanks for reading.....

Parents often worry because they think their young children don't eat enough. Some children seem to be naturally finicky. But others simply may be so overwhelmed by the amount of food placed on their plates that they don't know where or how to begin eating. How much food is enough? And how can we get our children to particpate more successfully in mealtimes?
Physicians tell us that a child needs one tablespoon of food per year of age at each meal. that means a 3-year-old needs at least three tablespoons of food at breakfast, at lunch, and at dinner in order to maintain health and growth. These are not the heaping portions that we are tempted to put on our children's plates; they are standard measurment portions.
Allowing children to serve themselves encourages them to eat larger portions of a variety of foods. When children get to control their choices and the amount of food they take, mealtime becomes more enjoyable for them and you. Participation in meal planning and preparation also encourages children to feel that they are a part of the process at mealtime. A family meal can be a time of conversation and relaxation or a time of frustration and anger. By offering children smaller amounts, the opportunity to help prepare meals, and the chance to serve themselves, we can provide a calmer, more satisfying family time for everyone.
Happy eating!!
From "Family-Friendly Communication for Early Childhood Programs"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!!

So this is a simple Groundhog craft we made today...and the kids thought it was just so cool!
I had the kids cut out a head and a body, some of the kids wanted me to cut it out, and some kids went all out with arms and legs and everything - so cute!
We taped a popsicle stick onto the bottom like a puppet.
Now get your paper cup or styrofoam cup or any cup you have on hand and cut a slit in the bottom of it so your popsicle stick will come through the bottom.
Here he is - sleeping in his burrow all nice and cozy. Because a groundhog is a hibernater don't ya know!! My preschoolers sure do!

And UP he pops to find his shadow or not find it. Remember, if he sees his shadow that furball gets to go back to sleep in his warm little burrow because we have 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, that cute little groundhog gets to stay up because spring is right around the corner. As a preschool class we watched the news broadcast (on the internet) of Punxatawny Phil today. As you probably already know he SAW his shadow which means 6 more weeks of winter. The kids thought it was so cool to really see him on the news.

Some Cool Groundhog Facts...

*A groundhog is also called a woodchuck

*A groundhog sleeps through the winter - he hibernates

*A groundhog is related to a squirrel, chipmunk, and a prairie dog!

Fun Groundhog Song

Oh My Groundhog
Tune of Clementine
In a tree trunk with a chipmunk
Hibernating for a time
There's a groundhog who's the top dog
On this day in wintertime.
Oh my groundhog, oh my groundhog, oh my groundhog, so sublime
Is it frost and cold forever?
Are we stuck in wintertime?
Dawn appears on the horizon
Out of bed he starts to climb
Tis the day to find a way to
Check the length of wintertime.
Offorecasters he's a master
He performs his craft so fine
Shadows mean no early spring so
Best get used to wintertime.